How to Highlight & Contour Pale Skin: Products, Techniques & More

Dawn's Life, over 40
by Dawn's Life, over 40
7 Materials
10 Minutes

If you’ve got very fair skin, you may be wondering how to highlight and contour pale skin. I’ve learned from blogs and video how to apply contour and bronzer to my pale skin, but I also have to take into consideration that my skin is more mature.

I have to be careful with the kinds of products I use to make sure they don’t cling to crepey skin or dry patches.

The best contour for pale skin

Sometimes contour or bronzer looks muddy or even dirty on pale skin. I find using a grey or taupe contour with a cool undertone rather than a warmer, more orangey tone works much better.

This way the contour and bronzer do what they are supposed to do by flattering and defining the face, rather than making it look a bit dirty.

Another question I get is what is a good highlighter for fair or pale skin? People with very fair skin may not need as much highlighter because the skin is already light (natural highlights!) so choose a greyish highlighter as well to pick up the radiance.

Here’s how best to highlight and contour pale skin!

Tools and materials:

  • Bronzer stick
  • Highlighter with a sponge applicator
  • Brushes
  • Translucent finishing powder
  • Blush
  • Nude colored matte lipstick
  • Nude colored shiny lipstick or gloss
The best contour for pale skin

1. Apply the contour

For my look today I channeled the 1960s cool look with a pale blue eyeshadow, black eyeliner, black mascara, and a pale lip. 

Using bronzer sticks is so easy! I apply the bronzer stick starting from the top of my face downwards.

Where to apply contour on pale skin

I first apply two semi-circles mirroring the shape of my eyebrows at the top of my forehead. 

Applying contour to the face

Then, I apply it to the hollow of my cheekbones, along my jawline, in a short straight line just below my lower lip, and down the sides of my nose.

Blending the contour with a brush

2. Blend the contour

I use a foundation brush to blend the contour really well into the skin. I blend wherever I placed the contour color so there are no lines or streaks.

I take the brush down my neck and even to my decolletage to better match the contour color.

How to apply highlighter on pale skin

3. Add highlights

If you need that additional highlight and foundation or concealer isn’t enough, I add a highlighter.

I apply 3 stripes just above the center of my forehead, 3 diagonal stripes under each eye, in a vertical line just above my Cupid’s bow, the tip of my nose, and at the bottom of my chin.

Blending highlight with a flat-topped brush

4. Blend the highlighter

I use a flat top style brush to diffuse the highlighter so there are no obvious lines.

Applying translucent powder to set makeup

5. Finishing touches

I like to apply a translucent, finely-milled powder to set my contour and highlighter. I pat some on with a brush, with a gentle hand so it doesn’t cake or flake.

I add some blush at the top of my cheekbones, above where I placed the contour. I also lightly apply the blush to the areas where I have contoured for that extra definition.

Adding shimmer to cheekbones

I add some shimmer in soft baby pink on the top of my cheekbone, drawing it back up the outside edge of the eye for that extra glow.

Applying lip gloss

Today, I finished with a pale pink-toned matte lip color with a slighter deeper glossy shade on top for that total 60s vibe.

How to highlight and contour pale skin

How to highlight and contour pale skin tutorial

Perfectly pale with crisp contouring and definition! I hope this tutorial helped you learn how to highlight and contour pale skin. Please let me know in the comments what you think, what you’ve tried, if you’ve got tips for me, and what you want to see next!

Products used

Suggested materials:
  • Bronzer stick
  • Highlighter with a sponge applicator
  • Brushes
See all materials

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